To highlight the problem of expensive public transport, activists from Beyond Politics taped open the barriers at a North London train/tube interchange and held up banners offering ‘Free Travel’ to passengers at the end of the working day yesterday.
It was a short stunt symbolising how citizens have the power to fix things for themselves. It follows an action last week when they took food from a major supermarket and gave it away free to the public and local homeless in Camden.
The party intends to stand at mayoral, local and general elections, with just one policy – to do away with party politics altogether and hand power directly to Citizens Assemblies.
As CoVid has been used as a reason to postpone democracy, the group which was set up by Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam, is in the meantime hoping to bring down the government through civil disobedience, because they believe the science which is telling us that humanity is facing disaster because of climate and ecological crisis.
Although politicians have given lip service to a climate emergency, very little of substance is being done and in fact, ‘business as usual’ and ‘return to normal’ appear to be the mantras of the current administration. Against the recommendations of its own climate committee, the government has bailed out the big polluting industries without any ‘green strings’ attached, while small businesses, the arts, the disabled and precarious workers are among many citizens facing ruin.
Despite some press reports to the contrary, Beyond Politics is not a political project or wing of Extinction Rebellion, although many of its members were or still are part of that movement too.
Both movements are certainly pushing the idea of Citizens Assemblies on the basis that it would be a representative democracy which serves the people rather than a rich and powerful elite, which seems to be slow to respond to the unfolding global emergency as ultimately they will be the least affected for longest.